Building Brand Identity through Design

How can spatial interventions impact building?

Today traditional brick-and-mortar stores serve as immersive storytelling devices: tangible, user-friendly expressions of the brand that go beyond transactional purchases. The rise of e-retail platforms has, in fact, led to a surge in the emergence of Brand Experience Centres. <rt-red> What began with the likes of Apple, Niketown, and Legoland has permeated to nearly every retail brand across all product sectors. <rt-red>

Retail stories will continue to witness perpetual shifts in the way they are designed, with retailers pushing the envelope to offer shoppers curated brand experiences that they can identify with easily. Experiential retail has emerged as a key constituent of brand building; the modern customer prefers investing in experiences over merchandise, and the shift has marked the integration of technology on an unprecedented scale. Services have come to encompass more premium and customised options since usual purchases can be made online at the click of a button.

For a bricks-and-mortar retail store, to drive better engagement with its target audience, designing specifically takes into account the brand narrative, and its expression within the space—it is crucial to determine the shopping experience the brand wants to create for the customer, and to identify and <rt-red> improve customer touchpoints that offer an authentic taste of the brand identity and ethos. <rt-red> This helps in building brand recall and customer loyalty.

More fundamentally, design development includes sensitivity to retail display ergonomics, drafting ideal layouts for optimal visual merchandising, and ensuring that <rt-red> the product density aligns with the brand's approach, to influence customer perception and overall experience. <rt-red>

A high-end, premium watchmaker or a luxury fashion label, for instance, would opt for a vastly different look-and-feel compared to a <rt-red> grocery store or supermarket, designed to appeal to the masses. <rt-red>

Take, for instance, our project in Chennai, an immersive experience centre designed for electric two-wheeler brand, Ather Energy. <rt-red> The project embodies the brand ethos of innovation and dynamism to create a prime feature space for Ather 450, their marquee product. <rt-red> Tying together an immersive narrative for the electric automobile which enhances customer engagement, the design strategy for Ather divides the expansive floor plate into distinct zones—enabling an enriching brand interaction that prioritises visitor engagement and familiarisation with the product over pure sales.

Reflecting Ather's design-intensive approach to electric automobiles, the design centres the primary spatial narrative around Ather machinery components and chassis models hosted on workshop-style tables and monolithic podiums. The outlet is characterised by seamless tectonics, a muted palette, sharp lines and a clutter-free aesthetic derived from the brand identity.

In the case of Royal Enfield, the brand has a mandate of bringing a richer and a more comprehensive experience of their iconic global brand to their customers. Our design for one of their commissions in Goa is a seamless amalgamation of a <rt-red> retail space, a bar & restaurant, a gallery space, a bike-customization area and a service centre. <rt-red> Our design approach to the Architecture and Interior Design of this space builds around the core values of the Royal Enfield brand: Timelessness, Craftsmanship and an unadulterated love for motorcycling. We planned the buildings on a half-acre plot of land as a series of independent yet interconnected structures, each of which tells its own story.

The industrially-crafted retail building with its zinc roof, laterite infill walls and the now distinctive "Royal Enfield" charcoal grey metal and glass facade effortlessly bridge its Goan setting with industrial craftsmanship.

Attached Projects